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December 29,2010 was the day my life changed for the worst. My husband was a 33 year firefighter, in Hollywood, Florida.
For those who know this area it has a Class 1 classification, and these men wanted to be the example of all departments, they wanted to be number one.
I met my husband in 1984 while working with the union in local elections, as we know those are important to have a commission and city who supports the police and fire dept. as well as city workers too!
He was kind, fun loving, attentive to his family, and then we married a year later. I had our son soon after we married, I was proud to present our beautiful boy to his dad, but then things changed and that was a total shocker to me.
I realized the Code of Secrecy and understood the groupies coming around the station were quite welcome to come and be there for dinners, sexually pleasuring my husband and friends. The Internet was gaining strength about then as well, so for me I had lost the eyes and heart of my husband 3 years later!
I was distraught for my son and myself because we where left to fend for ourselves. I cannot say how many times I had to roll change to buy food because back then the men had a code to never tell the wives how much money they made. Wives became "the Ball and chain," because they had discovered groupies and could play at work.
Drinking and sex on the job, with taxpayers paying for this was disrespectful, and so are the woman walking in taking my husband to the hose tower for sex.
When my son was in 3rd grade my husband was arrested for sexual abuse. Then a year of our lives was spent fighting in the courts that this could not be true, that he was innocent. The case was found not guilty. The day the jurors where deciding his/our destiny, I landed on my knees asking God for his mercy, grace and truth.
I found myself carrying the quilt and shame of his behavior. After the case was over I was left to pack my home of 12 years and move 100 miles north to another county. We never divorced. I always felt God had his hand on my family and we started to make a new life. My son who is 26 now reflects how much he hated moving away from where he had friends. His school, his life was moved to a place and at a time of his growth, he became angry.
I drove thousands of miles to the baseball park, school events and today, my son knows who the parent was to watch and cheer on his success. His father was a friend to play with when he came home, not a husband nor a lover to me, not even a father, he just wanted to be friends with his son.
When my son graduated High school, he was in an accident that broke his neck. We flew him to Miami and were told he had fractured his C6 and C7 and a surgery called "Front and Back" that was required to give my son his quality of life back. Again God was there, with me on my knees praying for his divine healing and that prayer was answered. While this was going on my husband fell back to the Internet, trying everyday to leave me to care for our boy and losing himself to others while his family was going through so much pain and recovering the emotional damage again.
His dad just wanted to be his friend, while he needed to be the father and get an attorney to sue for the damages done to our boy, but the Internet was more interesting and by this time millions of hours had been on the Internet, and that is when I got angry. I am expected to accept this behavior because my husband brought the money home and he was entitled to do as he pleased.
So the lying started coming to the forefront of our lives, and the fights began. The more I would want ours lives to be right, the more my husband would band with the guys and the distance from our lives. The life we had so planned to be different was gone.
I left my husband and filed for divorce, had him served the divorce papers at the station and left him to explain why we had gotten to this. Oh, he explained alright, he told his peers at work--the ones who gained the pension and raises by the efforts of their wives so many years before, that I was a whore! That no other man was going to take his money he worked so hard for and laid a plan to win my heart back. I was not that eager to think any of this would just stop, that he would be sorry for his part in not loving himself enough to come home to his beautiful wife and son, his parents or even his brother.
You see the gang at the station was his family and he protected them very well. He just never protected his commitment to us, and now after so many years he comes home to retire, to boss me around, bully the remote from me, bully his will towards me and not listening to his doctors when he ended up in the hospital with kidney failure because men do not go to the doctors. He thinks it means they are weak, and you never show weakness around these men because that would open doors of crude comments, and picking on the weaker.
I feel cheated out of a life of happiness and my son was given the opportunity to go to college, only to come home and be unable to fill his career because we have student loans being ignored. My husband went to college with his parents' money. He never graduated, just went to school to party.
The credit against my son on these loans hurts his chances of getting on his own and living with us now hurts him everyday. It hurts me also because his father the "friend" does not feel he can cash out his pension and pay off his debt. He cashed out $60,000.00 dollars for a boat but not for his son's student loan? I feel for the women being preyed on when we go anywhere. They don't know this man has become the low lifer, and sex is all he thinks of. He now has ED, and that has added to his list of health issues.
I cannot change how I feel towards his behavior. I have not been able to bring girlfriends to my home now, and the mess he leaves is not how I took care of my home. I struggle everyday for peace of mind, body and soul.
Understanding and compassion do not exist. It seems like he should be in a hospital for deprogramming, but as I have searched there are no programs for us wives. God laid upon me this day to seek again other wives and possible some help for me to understand do I stay or do I leave and try for a peaceful life of my own, being with someone who does NOT yell NO at me and would want to listen to my heart.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Cindy, and thanks for telling your story here. I strongly encourage you to read the following page, written for people in your situation, to help with your decision making.
how to deal with abusive relationships
Your personal well being has to become your top priority. If you don't have that, you don't have anything.
My very best to you,
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